By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.– Mallory Patzer was absolutely nails for the North Marion defense Tuesday afternoon against Silverton.
The offensive pressure from the Foxes at Silverton High School was high. It felt like a playoff atmosphere, the Foxes were tenth in the Coaches Poll to sixth.
Silverton created opportunities against the Huskie defense, but Patzer had found ways to settle into the situation with the help of her defense around her. Denying the Foxes an opportunity to finish any of their opportunities they had as they were frustrating the Silverton offense in front of them on this day.
“We’ve been bad under pressure; we need to be more fragile with the ball. All of our passes are finicky, part of it are the positions but mainly it’s getting into the mindset and it’s not there right now,” Silverton’s Carmen Sheppard said. “We’re just getting into a groove and learning just to communicate again. It’s been a while since we’ve been playing on a pitch together so that’s probably it.”
Patzer admits that she’s used to the jam she was in having been in goal this past year with the Huskies taking the 4A Cumulative Week Title as North Marion only dropped one game in the 12 they played this past Spring.
“It was a little bit stressful but my defense did great and we worked as a team. I live for the pressure so it was fun,” Patzer smiled. “It was definitely good momentum going into the season. We haven’t had the momentum so this game was big for us so I’m excited for the rest of the season.
“Just keeping that momentum up as a team and going into the mentality of every game is that Championship Game. Just looking for the opportunities. Really working as a team, our plan is to work possession and if we just stick to that, work together I think we got that.”
The issue for the Huskies was the lack of chances to score on the other end of the pitch during the first half. North Marion had a few chances, but Silverton’s Carly Von Flue took advantage of the handful of opportunities to keep the Huskies from breaking the 0-0 tie going into the second half.
North Marion in the second half however had flipped the switch. The offensive intensity was there as they returned the favor against the Foxes, resulting in a 2-0 lead following goals by Vanessa Valenzuela (49th) and Dominique Huapeo (60th) before Sheppard drew the Foxes back to one a moment later.
Both teams worked possession over the last twenty. Both Von Flue, with a sliding tackle, and Patzer with a few saves in traffic, were the workhorses down the stretch as the two goalies made sure neither offense could score before the final whistle.
The Huskies (1-1-1) will host Santiam Christian/Kings Valley Charter (4-0) Thursday at North Marion at 4pm while Silverton (1-2-1) will host North Eugene (4-0) Thursday night at 7pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald